Daily Newspaper and Travel Guide
for Pecos Country of West Texas
Thursday, March 21, 2002
Filings on last day fill up most local election races
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., March 21, 2002 -- Last minute filers trickled into city hall,
the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah school administration office and the
Reeves County Hospital office on Wednesday, in order to file for a
position in the May city, school and hospital elections.
Incumbent Michele Galindo and Connie Herrera both joined the race for
a position on the Pecos-Barstow-Toyah ISD board on the final day to file
for the May 4 election.
Galindo is currently serving on the board after winning an unexpired term
last year. Her seat, along with the one held by Billie Sadler is up for election
this year. Sadler already had filed for a new two-year term, while Paul Deishler,
who was defeated last year in his bid for a full-term on the school board,
also has filed to run.
Deishler was appointed to an unexpired term on the P-B-T ISD board in
2000, but opted to run for a full term last year instead of the one-year
unexpired term. Galindo won the unexpired seat in last May's election.
In the Reeves County Hospital District Board of Directors race, three
people filed for a seat on Wednesday that until then had no candidates entered
in the race.
The three filed to run for the Precinct 3 position on the hospital board.
Jim Breese, of Pecos and Bill Wendt and Janelle Ward, both of Balmorhea,
filed for the two-year term on the board currently held by Jesse Preito.
The at-large seat held by Leo Hung, and the Precinct 1 seat held by Chel
Florez are also up for election in May, and Hung and Florez have both filed
for new terms and will be unopposed for re-election. However, Prieto was
unable to file to retain his Precinct 3 seat, since he now lives in Precinct
2, according to RCH Human Resources Director Nadine Smith.
In the Town of Pecos City Council race, a fifth candidate entered the
race for the two available seats on the final day of filing. Israel Campos
will join incumbents Ricky Herrera and Danny Rodriguez and challengers Michael
Benavides and Angelica Valenzuela on the May 4 election.
City voters will also be deciding the race for mayor, which will be a
rematch of the election of two years ago. Mayor Ray Ortega is seeking a second
term in office and will be challenged by former city mayor Dot Stafford,
who he defeated in the 2000 city election.
Down in Balmorhea, elections are also heating up. Current Mayor Ruben
Fuentez will be challenged by Elizabeth Saenz, who is also the Balmorhea
ISD Superintendent. Fuentez was appointed mayor last year, following the
death in May of mayor Ismael Vasquez Rodriguez.
Councilmen Eddy Roman and Rosendo Galindo have both filed to retain their
seats on the council. The two will be opposed by Teresa "Terry" Barragan
and Yolanda M. Hernandez.
In Balmorhea, there will be a contested school board race this year. The
Balmorhea ISD has three open seats, and incumbents Jimmy Barragan, Jesus
Matta and Javier Lozano have filed for re-election, along with challengers
Regina Lozano and Dora Machuca.
The only races that will not be contested are the city elections for Toyah
In Toyah, current Toyah Mayor Ann Marsh has filed for re-election to her
seat. There are also two council seats open for the May election. Sharon
Sanchez has filed for re-election and will be joined by newcomer, Shaina
In Barstow, Mayor Benny Hernandez and two incumbents have filed to retain
their positions. Council members Robert Ortega and Carol Gonzales will also
run in the May 4 election. Ortega filed for a full-term while Gonzales filed
for the seat she was appointed to last year.
Under state law, both Toyah and Barstow can cancel their city elections
in order to save money. Although two of the three seats for the RCH board
are uncontested, the hospital district will have to hold elections for all
three positions on May 4 due to the Precinct 3 race. All county voters are
eligible to cast ballots in the at-large hospital board election.
New video store planning April opening
By LEIA HOLLAND
PECOS, Thurs., March 21, 2002 -- Local movie buffs will soon have a new place
to catch the latest new releases with a new video rental store opening
in the 1000 block of South Cedar Street.
General Construction Manager George Longoria said that the new store,
Movie Gallery, should be opening in three weeks.
The new store, which is located in the old Hill's Thriftway and E-Z Pawn
Shop building, is one of about 1,000 stores in various states including Texas,
New Mexico and Colorado.
When asked why the company chose Pecos to establish a new store, Longoria
said because of the good location and the size of the town.
"(The owners) go around looking for locations," he said, while declining
to give their names.
According to Longoria, the owners usually open a store in a town that
has at least 4,000 to 5,000 people in it.
"They don't go into big cities," he said. "They just do the little towns."
Movie Gallery will carry many new releases as well as numerous video games
at reasonable prices.
This is the second video store that has come in to town, challenging the
only other video store, Dan's Music and Video.
Several other Pecos businesses have offered video rentals over the years,
but the last large video store to open in town was Showtime, which was operated
in Pecos during the early and mid-1990 on South Eddy Street. It closed three
The construction crew of four started moving in shelving units and other
items needed into the future Movie Gallery store on Monday and they hope
to be finished by next Wednesday, according to Longoria.
Those interested in working at the new store may attend a job fair from
10 a.m. to 6 p.m., next Thursday and Friday at the store.
City, county jobless rates show slight drop
By JON FULBRIGHT
PECOS, Thurs., March 21, 2002 -- Unemployment in Reeves County and the Town
of Pecos City was down by one-tenth of a percent last month, and is
also down slightly from the same period last year, according to figures
released today by the Texas Workforce Commission.
Reeves County's unemployment fell from 7.6 to 7.5 percent, while the jobless
rate in Pecos was down from 8.7 to 8.6 percent, as both the county and city
saw their workforce and their total number of jobs drop from January.
The TWC said there were 6,318 people in the county's labor force last
month, down from 6,386 in January, while the total number of jobs dropped
from 5,903 to 5,847 during the same period. That also lowered the number
of people unemployed in the county from 483 in January to 471 last month,
according to the TWC.
A year ago, Reeves County's jobless rate was at 7.9 percent, with 504
people out of work in February of 2001 out of 6,398 people in the in the
county's workforce. Pecos has seen its workforce fall by 66 in the past year,
to 4,933, while the number of unemployed dipped from 451 to 422. In January,
the city had 4,986 people in its labor force and 432 people unemployed.
Across the area, unemployment for February was unchanged, at 5.0 percent,
while the statewide jobless numbers dipped from 6.0 to 5.8 percent, the TWC
reported. Ector County (Odessa) saw it's unemployment fall from 6.2 to 6.1
percent, but Midland County's jobless rate rose from 3.7 to 4.0 percent.
Pecos County and Ward County reported unemployment drops of two-tenths
of a percent last month, as both the labor forces and the total number of
unemployed in those counties also declined as it did in Reeves County. Andrews
and Howard counties reported increases in their labor force and the total
number of jobs, but Howard (Big Spring) reported a .4 drop in its jobless
rate, while Andrews County saw unemployment rise one-tenth of a percent.
Across Texas, the total number of jobs between January and February were
virtually unchanged, while the state's labor force declined. The TWC said
there were 124 more jobs in Texas last month, while the workforce dropped
by more than 32,000 people, leading to the overall decline in the unemployment
Local cowboy's Fort Worth ride sets new record
By ROSIE FLORES
PECOS, Thurs., March 21, 2002 -- A young Pecos cowboy set a new record for
bull riding recently in competition in Fort Worth, earning him the
Jr. Championship Challenge Bull Riding Title at the Tuff Hedeman Jr.
Guthrie Long was entered in the event at Fort Worth's Will Rodgers Coliseum
for the third consecutive year, and on March 10, Long scored 93 points on
ride, the highest score ever given to a junior bull rider.
The 14-year-old Long is the son of Curtis and Jessie Long of Pecos, and
the grandson of Gwyn and Janis Long of Spur.
The Jr. Championship Challenge is held in conjunction with the Tuff Hedeman
Championship Challenge every year, a Professional Bull Riders Bud Light Cup
Event. To qualify, the junior bull rider must win a year-end title from one
of only six Rodeo Associations. Those six young Bull Riders who earn titles
are then personally invited to meet with Tuff Hedeman himself.
Long competed in the 2001 Texas Youth Bull Riders (TYBR) West Region Association
throughout the year, winning the title of Sr. Steer Riding Champion. He then
competed in the TYBR State Finals meet in Saginaw, held last August, competing
against winners form the TYBR North Region Association. There, he won the
event becoming the State Champion Senior Steer Rider.
This qualified him for the Tuff Hedeman Jr. Championship Challenge and
in October 2001, Guthrie was invited back to compete in the Challenge by
After finishing fifth in March 2000 and third in March 2001 at Fort Worth,
this was Long's last chance at the title.
"He made a hell of a ride," said his father Curtis Long. "The steer made
two big jumps out of the chute and started spinning to the right. The more
that steer spun, the faster and faster he got."
"The crowd was behind Guthrie all the way, cheering and standing as they
watched him make the ride. It was a great feeling. Guthrie threw his hat
into the air and was as excited as I had ever seen him," said Long. "He knew
he did what he had to do."
Along with the title came many prizes. He earned a $1,000 check; Bob Berg
Buckle; Spurs made by Cody Lambert; Felt Hat; PBR Jacket and a Mighty Bucky
This past Sunday, Long was honored with a plaque given to him just before
the start of a Bull Riding Event in Odessa. Royce Baggett, West Region Director
of the Texas Youth Bull Riders Association, presented Guthrie with the plaque
and congratulated him on the way he represented the association and on his
Long has been riding rough stock since the age of five, beginning with
calves. He moved up to steers and now rides peewee bulls, Jr. bulls, and
novice bulls. He has competed many times and has several awards and titles
to his credit including over 20 buckles and two championship saddles.
Last year alone, he won seven titles including the 2001 Casa Bull Bash
Novice Bull Rider Champion; 2001 Monahans Stage Coach Festival Sr. Steer
Rider Champion; 2001 Professional Youth Rodeo Association Reserve Sr. Steer
Rider Champion; 2001 Youth Rough Stock Riders Association Sr. Steer Rider
Champion and Jr. Bull Rider Champion along with his 2001 TYBR titles.
He is leading the TYBR Association in points this year in Jr. Bulls.
Long will be traveling to Tulsa, Okla., on March 29 and 30, where he will
compete in the Third Annual Clem McSpadden Championship Youth Rodeo against
over 60 other bull riders.
Long also travels to various rodeos with two of his toughest competitors,
Coy Creager of Mentone and Casey Bowman of Lamesa. These two young men are
also two of Long's closest friends and supporters. Many times this three-some
have taken the top three spots at rodeo's placing, first, second and third.
Hearing scheduled on possible change in pet vaccinations
PECOS, Thurs., March 21, 2002 -- The Texas Department of Health will hold
a meeting in Midland on Wednesday, April 17 at Midland College to hear public
comments before deciding on a possible change in the state law on annual
rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats.
The meeting in Midland is one of nine scheduled around the state, beginning
next week and running through the first week of June. The meeting will be
at 7 p.m. at the Davidson Family Health Sciences Building, 3600 N. Garfield
St. in Midland.
The state has mandated annual rabies vaccines for dogs and cats since
1980. The vaccine for dogs is effective for three years, while cats can be
given a vaccine effective for from one to three years. The change would allow
for non-annual vaccinations if the three-year vaccine is used.
PECOS, Thurs., March 21, 2002 -- High Wednesday 63. Low this morning 42.
Forecast for tonight: Mostly cloudy and breezy with lows in the lower
30s. Northeast winds 15 to 25 mph: Diminishing to 10 to 15 mph after
midnight. Friday: Partly cloudy and cooler. Highs in the lower 60s.
South winds 5 to 15 mph. Friday night: Mostly clear. Lows 35 to 40.
Saturday: Mostly sunny, breezy, and warmer. Highs in the upper 70s.
Sunday: Partly cloudy and breezy. Lows near 40. Highs near 80.
Jose Fuentes and Vada Gray
York M. "Smokey" Briggs, Publisher
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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Copyright 2002 by Pecos Enterprise